An accident in Denmark

Crushed. That’s the word the doctors used to describe the bones in my right arm after I slipped an fell 3m down on hard ground from our sailboat. I am not even sure what happened, I wanted to remove some tape, it was a bit slippery after the rain, and suddenly I felt myself falling. I screamed when I hit the ground, and then I stopped because I couldn’t breathe. When I regained control of my breath I screamed for help, and I could see a man come running towards me.

In a moment like this it feels so incredibly privileged to live in a country where medical help is available for everybody, no questions asked.

The ambulance arrived in about 20 minutes. By then my whole body was shaking badly, I guess from both the cold and the adrenaline from the pain in my arm. The ambulance staff gave me some pain reliever that didn’t seem to work at all, did a quick neural check and carefully got me onto a stretcher and into the ambulance. In the mean time Esben and Mattis had arrived, but Mattis, who usually loves ambulances, did not look the least bit convinced when I tried to smile at him before the doors were closed.

30 minutes later we arrived at the hospital. Because of the relative long distance I had fallen, a rather large group of doctors were ready to get me checked for spinal and head injuries. It all seemed rather chaotic, but one of the nurses stood and held my head, looked me in the eyes, told me to lie completely still and said that I could ask her if I had any questions.

I was lucky, there were no spinal or head injuries, “only” my hand, which laid in a strange angle by my side. I got a healthy dose of painkiller injected directly into the hand and was taken to x-rays. They showed that the bone in the arm called radius had splintered into several pieces above my wrist, and that one piece had come out through the skin. The other bone, ulna, had broken in a normal way. To try to but the bones into place, I was given a heavy dose of morphine and my arm was hung by the fingers with a weight tied to my elbow. After about half an hour two doctors tried to pull my arm enough apart to put the bones back where they belonged. This is where I seriously started to appreciate the morphine. After the effort to reset my arm I had more x-rays, a ct-scan and a talk with a surgeon who told me the arm needed to be operated on asap. So around 8 pm I was put into full narcosis. I woke up in a much quieter, more painless world than I had left. With a giant metal skeleton attached to my arm.

Because the bone had fractured my skin and the ensuing risk of infection, the final operation could only be performed once the wound had healed. I therefore spent the next five days in he hospital, getting an intravenous dose of penicillin every six hours, with the external metal pole holding my bones in place. Despite of high doses of pain relievers, it was 5 days of crazy pain before the final operation was performed. In it, the surgeon operated two metal bars into my arm to keep the bone pieces in the right position. I came out with a giant cast, happy that this stage of fixing my arm was over.

After having spent three days in Denmark with my parents, I drove back home with Esben and the kids. So now I just need to convince the German doctors to continue with the plan laid out for my arm.


2 thoughts on “An accident in Denmark

  1. Holly Molly, that indeed sounds like a bad accident.
    I hope you are doing better now and that your injury will heal soon so that you can spend some relaxed time with your family on Chip Chip.
    When I read the sequence of your accident I could see myself jumping, spinning and climbing in a rush to finish on my Libertè (GD-28). During the refit works in 2012-2013 I was working on Libertè while she was ashore in storage, often alone at midnight where nobody would have come to me for help. I can gladly say that I survived it, even though I must admit that sometimes I had behaved completely reckless and immature.
    I myself have two little daughters (8) and (3) and if I look at them now I sometimes feel ashamed for risking my head for the boat in some situations. It is a great boat, but it just not worth it!
    Christian Möller, GD-28 Libertè, Hamburg


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